GunnTogether Times, January 11

Principal Stratton's Newsletter

Thank you to the PTSA and Classes of 2020 and 2021 for donating funds to purchase the new marquee!

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Las Posadas

On Dec. 13, families and friends gathered in the Gunn library for Las Posadas, a Mexican tradition that occurs around the holidays to honor the story of Mary and Joseph. Organized by Joey Ordonez, this lively event featured Mexican music, a photo booth, a piñata, a lottery game with gifts, and traditional Mexican food, such as tamales and pozole. (photo courtesy of The Oracle)

In This Issue . . .

  • Construction Update
  • COVID Update
  • Alternate Schedules
  • Attendance Intervention
  • Counseling & Wellness
  • Communicating
  • Upcoming Events
  • Testing Updates
  • Senior Donations
  • Crisis Mental Health Resource
  • Gunn Foundation
  • PTSA
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Athletics

Dear Titan Families,

Gunn students and staff charged onto campus, this first week of school, accompanied by wind and rain, and the ubiquitous sounds of construction. 2023 does strike me as a transformational year for our community. We have collectively moved through some incredibly challenging times in the past couple of years, and we have proven that when we partner together in the service of our students, we not only overcome barriers, but we improve upon past practices, and find new and more effective ways of doing things. Truly, the Titan community feels stronger, smarter, and more focused than ever on providing our students with the highest quality education, that includes a strong foundation in social-emotional learning.

This issue of GunnTogether Times has lots of great resources and information highlighting some of the great things happening in the coming weeks on campus. We welcome your attendance to all of the exciting events happening this Spring. As you drive past the school, or into our parking lot, pause to notice our new marquee! We will be use the marquee to remind you of opportunities that are here at Gunn, for you to enjoy.

In the Spirit of GunnTogether,

Wendy Stratton, Principal

Construction Update & Fencing Expansion

  1. The rain impacted the demolition timeline, so some of demo work will continue into our first weeks back.
  2. The fence in the front of the school has been extended out to the street curb, so that gas and fire water lines can be installed in that area. Once those lines are installed, we hope to pour back some temporary asphalt walkway and reopen the sidewalk by Spring Break. The remainder of the site demo will take place this summer. Signage has been erected to direct people around the construction area. See photos below. Please use an alternative route to your destination and do not walk in the roadway. See map below.
  3. Weather permitting, demolition will continue through this week. When demo is done, plumbing and electrical underground work will ensue. Unfortunately, weather doesn’t look great for this week either, so we can anticipate the possibility of some delays.

COVID update

Due to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, PAUSD will temporarily be suspending contact letters until further notice. To avoid the confusion and address the lack of value in families receiving multiple contact letters on a daily basis, we are asking again that high school staff, students, and families operate as if they have possible daily exposure. If anyone receiving this message believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 (meaning they have shared the same indoor airspace with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 for a total of 15 min or more over a 24-hour period), please refer to the information below for instructions, per public health, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection:
No Symptoms:
· Remain in school (and participate in extracurricular activities).
· Test on day 3-5 from exposure
· If test is negative on day 3-5, no additional testing is needed and the school should be notified of the negative test
· If test is positive, the student should isolate and the school should be notified of the positive test
· Public Health also strongly recommends wearing a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings and when near those at higher risk for severe COVID-19 disease
· Isolate at home; test immediately and test again on day 3-5 from exposure
· If test is negative on day 3-5, no additional testing is needed and the school should be notified of the negative test
· Student may return to school once they have been fever-free for 24 hours and all other symptoms have improved
· If test is positive, the student should isolate and the school should be notified of the positive test

COVID-19 Testing Option:

COVID-19 testing is available for students and staff Monday-Friday from 8:00am - 4:00pm at the Cubberley Community Clinic. The clinic is located in an exterior room near the walkway between the theater and the auditorium, coming from the Cubberley south entrance. For information on how to register, or to find testing schedules and locations, please visit our webpage at

In addition, we have provided Over the Counter (OTC) test kits for students and staff. They have been delivered and can be picked up from your school's main office. Please note that per Cal OSHA, all employees must now provide a date and time stamped photo of their test results when using OTC tests. Photos must be shared with an immediate supervisor.

Alternate Schedules

2022-23 Alternate Schedules Linked here.


Attendance continues to be one of PAUSD's goals for the 2022 - 2023 school year. Healthy attendance is the key to student success as well as graduation, and even college and career readiness.

At Gunn High School this school year, and throughout PAUSD, we will continue our intervention in order to support each student's healthy attendance. At the 6th - 12th grade level, 1 truancy event will represent 4 unexcused period absences (the equivalent of 1 full day, when classes are averaged throughout the week). Intervention responses will look like:

  • 3 Truancy Events (12 unexcused period absences or the equivalent of 3 full days) = A call home from your student's counselor or case manager, as well as a formal notification of truancy via mail (Truancy Letter #1)
  • 6 Truancy Events (24 unexcused period absences or the equivalent of 6 full days) = An in-person meeting with your student's counselor, case manager (if applicable) and Assistant Principal Carlomagno, as well as a formal notification of truancy via mail (Truancy Letter #2)
  • 9 Truancy Events (36 unexcused period absences or the equivalent of 9 full days) = Referral to the District Office's SARB (School Attendance Review Board), as well as a formal notification of truancy via mail (Truancy Letter #3)

In addition to these formal intervention processes, parents and guardians may also receive timely outreach from our Attendance Clerks regarding any absences that are occurring in the middle of the day.

Updated Attendance Processes (Previously shared on ParentSquare)

Please note: Beginning September 1, 2022 the attendance office will be enforcing the 72 hour rule.

  1. Parents/guardians have 72 hours to excuse a previous absence. (After 72 hours, documentation is required)
  2. Prior Approval Forms for upcoming/scheduled absences must be turned in 72 hours prior to the absence. Prior Approval Forms can be used for court appearances, consulate appointments, outside sporting competitions and other special circumstances. Additionally they must be completed for the 5 college visitation days allotted to seniors and second semester juniors. Family vacations or other similar personal absences do not fall into this category.

Approval is to the administrator’s discretion. The form does not need to be filled out for health appointments or illnesses.

Counseling & Wellness

Here is this Week's Titan Talk. with updates on SELF, Guidance, College & Career and Wellness departments.

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Communications Platforms at Gunn:

Communications from Gunn PTSA

How does Gunn PTSA communicate (electronically) with families?


Gunn PTSA is using Konstella for our electronic Parent Directory, Grade level parent network, community messaging, event information and volunteer sign-ups. When registering your student this year on Infinite Campus, you indicated your communications preference to be included in emails from the PTSA or in the school Directory. PAUSD will only give us your information if you answered "YES", and you will be included in Konstella, and start receiving messages from PTSA. You can also register on Konstella - email with your preferred email address and name/grade of your student.

PAUSD is a member of Connected Schools. The Common Sense Connected School's member hub is updated weekly. The "hub" contains resources, tips, and events for educators and families to help guide students in navigating the digital age. Here is a short two-minute "how-to use the hub" video. Parents can sign up here for the Common Sense newsletter to receive ongoing, age-specific recommendations and advice on the latest movies, TV shows, books, apps, and more.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 12

  • Site Council (4:30pm in K8)

Jan. 16

  • MLK Holiday

Jan. 17-20

  • Regular Schedules

Jan. 18

  • PTSA Meeting (8:30am)
  • Multicultural Parent Night (6-8pm in Library, see flyer above)

Jan. 20-22

Jan. 24

  • Percussion Ensemble Concert (7:30 in Spangenberg)

Jan. 25

  • 8th Grade Parent Orientation (6:30-8 in Spangenberg)

Jan. 27

  • Lunar New Year Staff Luncheon (11:45-1:30 in Acorn Lounge)
  • Orchestra Winter Concert (7:30 in Spangenberg)
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Join Us at the Game of Throws!

Come one, come all to one of the largest juggling and circus arts festivals in North America! Gunn & Paly Juggling Clubs are hosting this 3-day event from Friday, January 20th until Sunday, January 22nd in Bow Gym on Gunn HS campus. The event is FREE to all. Want to learn how to juggle? Free workshops taught by some of the best jugglers/performers in the world will be offered every hour of the festival. Looking for a fun Saturday night event with the family? The Game of Throws Gala Show is at 7pm on Saturday, January 21 at Spangenberg Theater on Gunn HS campus. All tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the festival, at the door, and on the Gunn HS Webstore (sales open 1/11 and close 1/19).

Detailed information about the festival can be found at:


Facebook Event

Main Contact
Matt Hall at or 650-279-5334

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Students enjoy and de-stress at our Dec. 19 "Mobile Barnyard," a petting zoo provided by the ROCK (Reach Out, Care, Know) Club.

Testing Updates

Please visit the Gunn Testing Webpage to see the latest information about testing. Gunn will update the testing page frequently as the testing dates approach. Use the Let's Talk feature on the left side of the webpage to ask any testing-related questions.

Senior Donations Request

Donations needed for Senior events scholarships

The end of senior year is a milestone for our senior students! We will have end of year events to celebrate. Parents provide end of year event ticket help to students who need it (we don't want to leave anyone out!). We are asking for fully tax deductible donations to help cover this cost. If each family purchasing a ticket were able to also donate $20, all students could celebrate together. Please donate here if you are able. Tickets will go on sale in early February. Questions?

Donate to support the senior scholarship student yearbook program

Each year, we provide a free yearbook for the senior scholarship students on campus. If you’d like to donate to this program, please visit the Titan Webstore, go to the Club Fundraisers page, and donate to The Olympian. You can donate anonymously if you prefer.

Yearbook questions? Reach out to Kristy Blackburn at

NEW Crisis Mental Health Resource

County of Santa Clara Launches 988 Phone Number Dedicated to Crisis Mental Health and Substance Use Services

The County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Department (BHSD) has transitioned to the new national three-digit crisis lifeline number, 988. The new number is a more direct and accessible way to get mental health and substance use support in critical times of need. Callers with 408, 650, and 669 area codes can dial 988* and receive compassionate support and connection to local crisis services if they, or a loved one:

  • are in mental health or substance use crisis;
  • are experiencing mental health distress, including thoughts of suicide; or
  • just need to talk.

*Those who have phone area codes other than 408, 650, and 669 can call 800-704-0900, and press 1, to receive the same support in Santa Clara County.

In addition, BHSD is making non-crisis service access easier: Those looking for mental health and substance use treatment services can call one number: 800-704-0900.

Gunn Foundation Needs Your Donation

The Gunn Foundation would like to call upon our community to help students who are experiencing financial hardships to attend colleges that offer them admission.


Every year, Gunn Foundation scholarships help Gunn graduates pay for expenses like tuition and housing deposits, textbooks, fees, and other items not covered by financial aid. Your support - at any amount - will help ensure a big bright future for students in our community.

Last spring, Gunn Foundation granted need-based scholarships to 24 students who are now attending schools across the US. With your help, we can do the same for the Class of 2023!


TEDx speakers

TEDx Gunn High School is presented February 6 in Spangenberg Theater and we're recruiting speakers and performers. Hundreds of students will attend with over ten distinguished speakers from all walks of life to share ideas worth spreading under the theme "Blossom." We are hoping that speakers with unique journeys will spark dialogue in the Gunn community. Please contribute to speaker nominations by emailing

Join the Gunn Foundation

We are currently seeking enthusiastic, creative, hard-working candidates to join our dedicated team of volunteer board members. All are encouraged to apply but we have an urgent need for candidates with backgrounds in fundraising, IT, finance/investment planning and web design. We are accepting applications for three-year terms to begin in April 2023. Please click on this link to submit your application 2023-2024 Gunn Foundation Board Application. Applications are due by 5:00 pm on January 15, 2023. For more information about Gunn Foundation, go to or send an email to Judy Lee at with your inquiry.

The Gunn Foundation is an all-volunteer nonprofit that provides need-based scholarships to college-bound seniors in the Gunn community. Scholarships fund essential expenses --- housing deposits, books, enrollment fees --- often unmet by aid packages.

Your support of the Gunn Foundation shows the scholarship recipients that you believe in them and their potential. Donations are accepted via check or Paypal at Any amount can make a difference in the college plans and future of a deserving Gunn senior. Please donate today!

Substitute Teachers needed

Do you already have a valid teaching credential or substitute permit?

Due to a combination of factors, our need for substitute teachers at Gunn is greater than ever. We are asking those of you who may already have a valid teaching credential or substitute teaching permit to join our team ASAP. Whether you can offer one day a week or five, the added support would be much appreciated! Please email Lorie Prior (

Join the PTSA!

Gunn's PTSA wants you to join the team --

Your $8 PTA membership (what a deal!) pays for officer training, advocacy, insurance and operational costs of the Gunn PTSA. By becoming a member, you can join discussions and vote at PTA meetings. It’s easy to join. Go here for more details.

PTSA Leads Needed

There are many opportunities to volunteer at Gunn. Volunteering is a great way to meet other parents, make new friends, and get more involved at the school. PTSA values your contribution and we could not do it without you! Leads and committees are needed to host several events that bring the Gunn High School community together. Please let us know if you can help by signing up here.

Food Containers Wanted

Culinary Arts Classes need take home food containers, especially cup, pint and quart sizes. They may be dropped off at the main office for teacher Cindy Peters. Questions:

Academic Center volunteer needed

Can you help out in the Academic Center 12:00-1:00pm? Enjoy time with Gunn's delightful students and learn about our academic and extracurricular programs. Responsibilities include being the welcoming adult presence in the room, monitoring the automatic textbook check-in system, and overseeing the use of computers and printers. You can volunteer once a week or every other week, and partner with another parent if you'd like. Please email

ELL Language Tutors needed

The PAUSD English Learner Program is currently looking for adult tutors to support elementary students in languages other than English. Potential candidates must care about and enjoy children. The Palo Alto Unified School District English Learner program seeks fluent speakers and writers of Spanish, Farsi, Chinese, and Japanese.

Tutors will support beginning English Learners by helping them understand classroom teacher instruction and the core content. Tutors will be utilized to explain information and translate for the child, and the teacher in the classroom and at parent meetings. Tutors are often used to translate written English into the child’s primary language to support parents who prefer to read in languages other than English.

Tutors are important resources in the English Learner Program because they provide a means of communication between beginning English speaking students, teachers and parents.

Interested applicants should complete the EdJoin Classified application. Please refer to the EdJoin website for further information.

Sports Boosters volunteers

Please volunteer and join the Gunn Sports Boosters board 2022-23. With half of our student body participating in a sport, we need your involvement to continue our work supporting these athletic programs that receive little revenue from the district. Gunn Sports Boosters is a not-for-profit organization that supports Gunn student athletes in partnership with the Gunn Athletics Department. We raise funds, awareness and school spirit to support our athletes by working with school administrators, coaches, parents, and community members. We assist with fundraising and work to fund projects that impact Gunn student athletes. We are looking for help in all capacities. Contact if you are interested.

Athletics at Gunn


Basketball: Jan. 17, 18, 21, 26, 27, 28

Soccer: Jan. 25

Wrestling: Jan . 25

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Titan Basketball

The Titans gave the Vikings a good fight at the Dec. 16 Paly-Gunn basketball game, but we lost 47-37.